SCENES of lorry queues in the south-east of England this week could be repeated on the A75, according to a leading figure in the campaign fighting to have the trunk road dualled.
It comes as the exit from the European Union looms whilst a travel ban remains in place between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, among swathes of other EU countries.
Iain Dick, chairman of the Dual the A75, said the group is “concerned” with how the large volume of traffic which passes through the Gretna to Stranraer route will be affected in the coming weeks and months.
He added: “You don’t have to look very far in the news to see what’s happening at the Channel port and we suspect there’s going to be a big increase in freight traffic on the A75.
“The council’s already been looking at various sights in the West where there might have to be a truck park; it’s another argument as far as we’re concerned for an upgrade.
“If there wasn’t enough before, it’s given us a very imminent impetus to do this and say to the Government that they have an issue here—one that doesn’t just affect the Scottish Government with trunk roads being a devolved matter, but is now an international issue and a European one.”
Iain pointed out that as part of the E18 Euroroute, the A75 sees freight travelling between Ireland and the rest of Europe, calling it a “very, very important road.”
He added: “If there isn’t a sense of urgency over us leaving the European Union, I don’t know what is.”
Making reference to the thousands of trucks stuck on Kent’s motorways this week, he said: “Just imagine that happening over at Cairnryan Port. The road has had upgrades, but clearly for increased freight traffic there must be a sense of urgency now.”
Dual the A75 is one of a plurality of organisations and businesses, including a coalition of ferry operators, in favour of having the road turned into a dual carriageway, which they argue would shorten journeys through Dumfries and Galloway, save lives and boost the region’s economy.
The group is currently anticipating the release of the Government’s South of Scotland Transport Review which Iain says “should give us some sort of indication of what the Scottish Government’s thinking about in terms of its priorities for this trunk road.”
He added: “We’re also hoping there’s a Scottish election next year, and inevitably we always look to the elections and hope somebody’s going to put in their manifesto that they’re going to do something.”